How are bridges made?

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A bridge is a structure that provides a way to cross over a space. Bridges allow us to get to the other side of things like bodies of water, cliffs, valleys, or canyons! There are many types of bridges with different shapes and different structures designed to fit the needs of the bridge and the space that it is going to stretch across! 

A few common types of bridges include arched, suspension, post and beam, cantilevered, and cable-stayed. Each of these structures has benefits to provide the right support and function. Arched bridges, for example, don’t have beams extending from their center, which makes them good types of bridges to build over water. (Beams don’t have to be built into the water and boats can pass easily underneath!) Suspension bridges, on the other hand, are good choices for long bridges that need to stretch over a greater amount of space. Some bridges use strong posts and beams while other rely on cables or trusses, which are like structural connected triangles that help distribute weight! 

If you were going to build a bridge, what are some of the factors you would want to consider? Some of the most important aspects in designing and building a bridge are determining how much weight the bridge will need to hold and what types of conditions it will need to withstand in terms of wind, snow, or rain! 

by   (whyzz writer)
  • Exploration

    Build-a-bridge!

    Building a very basic mini-bridge is easy to do! There are any number of materials you can use -- Popsicle sticks, twigs from the garden, Legos, modeling clay, and more!

    Think about some shapes your bridge should use. What is it going to transport? Barbie dolls? Action figures? Toy cars and trucks?? 

    Your bridge can be as simple as two sticks with a bunch of other sticks going across them, or as complicated as a platform suspended by dental-floss ropes! Don’t forget to give your bridge a special name!!
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